Back in November, Randal Reid was arrested in Atlanta for the theft of more than ten thousand dollars in high-end purses in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He was on his way to his mother's house for Thanksgiving dinner. To all involved, it appeared as though the case had been closed.
The problem? Reid had never been to Louisiana in his life. His entire arrest had been precipitated on facial recognition technology that misidentified him, and then was taken at face value by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office, which has offered no comment beyond rescinding the warrant. This is the latest in a long line of incidents demonstrating facial recognition technology's inherent racial bias when used in contexts like this, due in part to flawed algorithms, recycled face data primarily from Black people, and the system itself that wields said technology.